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Court Finds No Fraudulent Joinder, Plaintiff Successful on Motion to Remand

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; April 28, 2023

This asbestos-related action was brought by plaintiff Carolyn Keiser on behalf of herself and as the executor of her husband, decedent David Keiser’s estate. The decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which the plaintiff alleges was caused by his occupational exposure to asbestos from defendants Donald McKay Smith, Inc. (“DMS”), Red Seal Electric Company and Vanderbilt Minerals LLC.

Plaintiff originally brought this action in state court. Defendant Vanderbilt removed it to federal …

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Court Finds Case Timely Removed within Thirty Days of Production of Plaintiffs’ Products Disclosure List

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, August 13, 2021

The plaintiffs, Lee Kallsen and his wife, Mary Lou, filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas against various defendants alleging Mr. Kallsen was exposed to the defendants’ asbestos and asbestos-containing materials, which caused him to develop mesothelioma. Specifically, he alleges he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials while aboard the U.S.S Hornet.

One week prior to Mr. Kallsen’s deposition, the plaintiffs tendered a preliminary product identification …

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Medical Expert Reports Deemed Sufficient to Overcome Dismissal in Maritime Action

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District, Cuyahoga County

This matter arises from the decedent’s allegation that his work as a merchant marine on ships, including repair and cleaning of asbestos-insulated steam lines, exposed him to asbestos and contributed to his development of lung cancer. After conducting discovery, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss contending that the plaintiff failed to meet the requirements of Ohio Revised Code Ann. 2307.92 (“Minimum medical requirements for tort action alleging asbestos claim”), including that the plaintiff failed …

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Ohio District Court Denies Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Pollution Exclusion, Contribution, and Bad Faith

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, April 24, 2020

R.W. Beckett Corporation was sued in a large number of cases alleging harm from exposure to asbestos in gaskets used in oil burners Beckett produced from 1960 to 1986. For 16 years, Beckett paid its own litigation costs, but it later discovered several insurance policies that covered the relevant time periods. The insurers who issued those policies began paying Beckett’s litigation costs, dividing the costs between them in an informal cost …

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Reversal of Summary Judgment for U.S. Steel on Maritime Claims

OHIO – Edward Shaffer was allegedly exposed to asbestos while working in the boiler room of multiple vessels while serving as a merchant marine employed by the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U.S. Steel, from 1960 to 1961. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016 and subsequently filed suit against 23 defendants, including U.S. Steel. That defendant moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s third amended complaint addressing the Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims. The motion was granted, and the plaintiff appealed.

The plaintiff asserted three …

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Attempt to Revive MARDOC Cases on Jurisdiction Fails as to all but Four Appellants

OHIO – The plaintiffs in this matter are merchant mariners who originally filed their cases in the Northern District of Ohio. Subsequent to filing, their cases were transferred to multidistrict litigation (MDL). Prior to trial in Pennsylvania, the court dismissed the cases after a finding that the Ohio court lacked personal jurisdiction, and appeal ensued.

By way of background, the merchant mariner cases were in the thousands. Filings began in the 1980s against several ship owners, manufacturers, and suppliers of asbestos products. Their claims were …

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Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Coverage Action, But Grants Colorado River Abstention

OHIO – The William Powell Company, which manufactured asbestos-containing valves and other products, fought a two-front coverage battle with its insurers regarding defense and indemnity for various personal injury cases filed against the company. In Ohio state court, Powell sought a declaratory judgment that it had the right to allocate sums expended to settle various cases, both retrospectively and prospectively. Powell later revised its claims to include breach of contract and a request for money damages. In federal court, Powell filed a lawsuit alleging breach …

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After Multiple Re-Filings Summary Judgment Reversed on Multiple Grounds

OHIO – The decedent Garry Blakely was employed at Aerospace, a division of the defendant Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which contained sub-divisions that manufactured aircraft brake assemblies. The decedent worked in the wheel and brake division, where he drilled, shaped, and incorporated linings into brake assemblies. Upon his diagnosis of mesothelioma in 2014, the decedent sued multiple defendants, including Goodyear. Goodyear moved for summary judgment on product liability, supplier liability, and premises liability, which the trial court granted in full, but prior to the …

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Orders Dismissing Merchant Mariners’ Claims for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Reversed After Finding of Waiver

OHIO — The appeals for this matter stem from the dismissal of claims filed in the Northern District of Ohio. In 1989 several ship owner defendants moved to dismiss a multitude of merchant mariner claims suits for lack of personal jurisdiction. In sum, the defendants argued that the merchant mariners’ claims for nationwide jurisdiction were invalid. The court found a lack of personal jurisdiction but denied the motions to dismiss and indicated that the court would transfer the cases to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania …

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Worn work gloves lying on concrete floor

Summary Judgment Denied to Asbestos Clothing Manufacturer Based on Plaintiff ‘s Contradictory Affidavit

OHIO –The plaintiff Donald MacLachlan brought suit against several defendants including American Optical (AO) alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at the Weirton Steel plant from 1971-2008. He was deposed in 2015 and also alleged exposure to steam turbines manufactured by General Electric. As for AO, The plaintiff testified that he wore asbestos containing thermal gloves and coats manufactured by that defendant beginning in 1979 while working as a cast house helper. The plaintiff was adamant that the …

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